Skip to Content

7 Different Types of Pillowcases

A collage of different types of pillowcase.

Pillowcases offer an easy way to add an extra touch of style to the bedroom. The type of pillowcase you use will change how the decor and pillows feel and look, giving your room a different atmosphere depending on the pillowcase you use.

There are many types of pillowcases, all of them awesome in their own right. This article will dive into these different pillowcases so you can find the right one for your bedroom with confidence.

We’ll also look at the fabrics used to make pillowcases, as this is important in choosing what your bedroom decor should look like.

Related: Can You Wash Feather Pillows | Can You Wash Bamboo Pillows

Let’s get right into it, shall we?

1. Housewife Pillowcase

uxcell Pillow Cases Covers Home Room Pillowcases with Envelope Closure Housewife Egyptian Cotton 250 Thread Count Set of 2 King(20"x36") Deep Purple

The housewife pillowcase, also known as simply the standard pillowcase, can be found in just about every house in the world. It’s the most common pillowcase, being affordable and easily available in stores.

These pillowcases have one side that is sewn closed with the other side having a wide opening in which the pillow can fit easily. Some of them have a flap or zip to ensure that the pillow doesn’t slip out while you sleep.

If you have the right size, your standard pillow should slide into this pillowcase without difficulty. Housewife pillowcases come in several sizes – king, queen, full, and twin size.

2. Bag Pillowcase

BlueHills 2-Pack Premium Soft Travel Blanket Pillow Airplane Blanket in Soft Bag Pillowcase with Hand Luggage Belt and Backpack Clip, Compact Pack Large Blanket for Any Travel (Grey Gray T013)

Second on our list is the bag pillowcase, which is used especially in the hospitality industry because they’re easy to maintain and affordable. All sorts of accommodations, from hotels to B&Bs, have bag pillowcases in their closets.

A bag pillowcase is identified by the draped look they give pillows. These pillowcases have fabric that extends past the end of the pillow and creates an overhang. 

Changing pillows is made easy and very quick when bag pillowcases are used. Unlike other pillowcases, the bag pillowcase doesn’t have an inner flap to keep the pillowcase inside.  There are no buttons, zips, or poppers either.

Instead, when using these pillowcases, people fold the opening flap and tuck it under the pillow to make it stay in place.

3. Oxford Pillowcase

Serene Linens Oxford Pillowcase Set 600 Thread Count 100% Long Staple Cotton Ultra Soft & Smooth Easy Care Satin Weave Set of 2 Pillow Shams (King, Ivory)

Oxford pillowcases are rather fancy, and ideal for people who want to improve the appearance of their bedroom. This type of pillowcase has a border all around the sides, usually about two inches in width.

Although you can use Oxford pillowcases as your main pillow covers, they’re mostly used for decoration on beds to add a bit of flair.

Because of their appearance, these pillowcases are quite popular and can be found in most homes. However, Oxford pillowcases are more difficult to change than housewife or bag pillowcases.

You can get Oxford pillowcases in various sizes, such as king, queen, full, and twin sizes.

4. Throw Pillowcase

Neelvin Pack of 2 Soft Plush Short Wool Velvet Decorative Throw Pillow Covers Cushion Case Pillowcase for Sofa Couch

As the name suggests, these pillowcases are only for throw pillows and won’t fit on any other kind of pillow. They are made for decorative purposes and, as you might guess, they can be thrown anywhere you want to add interest to a room. Be that on a sofa, chair, couch, or bed.

Throw pillowcases are not made for the purpose of sleep, only for beautification. They aren’t good at dealing with sweat and oil, so they should not be used for sleeping often. If they are, they’ll have to be cleaned regularly.

Still, throw pillowcases are good at keeping dust and dirt away from pillows while improving the look and feel of a room. Throw pillowcases can be very pretty, available in different patterns and designs, and in any color you can think of.

5. Mock Oxford Pillowcase

Royale Linens Pillow Shams 2 Pack King Size 20x36 Inch - Brushed 1800 Microfiber - Bed Pillow Shams, Wrinkle & Fade Resistant Super Soft and Cozy - Envelope Closure - Oxford Pillowcase (King,White)

Of all the pillowcases on our list, the Mock Oxford pillowcase is probably the most luxurious and elegant. They come with a lovely decorative frill along the sides and are perfect for making a space more sophisticated.

Mock Oxford pillowcases are very similar to Oxford pillowcases but are more ‘dignified’ and graceful. And unlike Oxford pillowcases that have mitered corners, these don’t.

If you want a pillowcase that will make a space feel elegant and well-decorated, Mock Oxford pillowcases may be just what you’re looking for. Of course, they’re not for sleeping, so only serve as decorations when placed on beds.

6. Square Pillowcase

TAOSON Decorative 100% Cotton Canvas Square Solid Toss Pillowcase Cushion Cover Pillow Case with Hidden Zipper Closure Only Cover No Insert - White 18"x18"(45x45cm)

Square pillowcases, also known as Euro Sham style pillowcases, are rather similar to Oxford-style pillowcases. They come with a wide-stitched flat hem, which creates a beautiful border around the edges of the pillowcase.

Because of their somewhat flamboyant appearance, these pillowcases are only good for decorations and are used with throw pillows exclusively.

7. Pillow Sham

Amazon Basics Cotton Jersey Blend Quilt Pillow Sham - Standard, Blush

Last, but certainly not least, on our list are pillow shams. These pillowcases are used to take a standard pillow and transform it into a decorative piece. It has an envelope enclosure that keeps the pillow in place.

Some of these pillowcases have a cord or flange around the edge of the pillow on the inside. They also come with different kinds of different decorative features, such as lace and pretty embellishments.

These pillowcases have intricate designs and patterns on the fabric that create diverse and vibrant appearances.

Pillowcase Fabrics

The fabric that pillowcases are made of can affect how durable they are, how easy they are to maintain, and how comfortable they can be.

That’s why it’s important to know the different kinds of fabric that are used for pillowcases. With this knowledge, you can make the most of any pillowcase because you’ll know exactly how it will feel and look.

Cotton

Amazon Basics 400 Thread Count Cotton Pillow Cases - Standard, Set of 2, White

Pillowcases made of cotton are the most common types you’ll find. Cotton is great for pillowcases because it’s long-lasting while also being soft and easy to maintain. Cotton insulates heat fairly well too, which is why it’s often preferred over wool.

The breathability of cotton is another reason why this material is so popular and common. No matter what the season, cotton can keep its temperature pretty well.

Also, cotton pillowcases are available in any size you can think of and in just about any color you can imagine. It’s also pretty affordable and of good quality, making it a good option for everyone on a tight budget.

Note that because cotton is so absorbent, it’s important that users go to bed with dry hair, or the pillowcase will absorb the water.

Velvet

NTBAY 2 Pack Zippered Velvet Queen Pillowcases, Super Soft and Cozy Luxury Fuzzy Flannel Pillow Cases with Zipper, 20x30 Inches, Smoke Grey

If you’re looking for a luxurious fabric for your pillowcase, then velvet is definitely the way to go. It is very sleek and most of us can’t deny that we associate it with wealth and royalty. Velvet is a bit more expensive, but worth the extra cost if you’re looking to have stunningly beautiful pillowcases.

Velvet is ideal for the colder parts of the year because it’s so warm, but it can be used at any time when it’s made of natural materials.

The feel and texture of velvet pillowcases are very pleasing and they come in various sizes and colors, so it’s obvious why they’re so popular.

Polyester

Bedsure Pillowcases Standard Size Set of 2 - Navy Standard Pillow Cases 2 Pack 20 x 26 inches, Brushed Microfiber, Pillow Case Covers with Envelop Closure

This is yet another common fabric used to make pillowcases, and it’s more economical than cotton. But unlike cotton, polyester is a synthetic material and it mimics the characteristics of cotton.

Although it’s nice and light, polyester does not have the temperature regulation you get from cotton, unfortunately, and this can lead to overheating. It is, however, wrinkle-resistant and available in all the standard sizes you could want. That makes polyester a great fabric for decorative pillows.

Polyester pillowcases are inexpensive, and you can find some that feel really silky, which is another reason why they’re suited for use on decorative throw pillows and the like.

Flannel

Superior Premium Cotton Flannel Pillowcases, All Season 100% Brushed Cotton Flannel Bedding, Pillowcase Set of 2 - Ivory Solid, Standard Pillowcases

Are you looking for the most comfortable, cozy, and soft pillowcases ever? Then look no further than flannel pillowcases. These are especially good for use during the winter when you want to stay warm and cozy.

Flannel can tangle long hair and cause frizz, unfortunately, which is one of the few drawbacks of this fabric. If the flannel isn’t of the highest possible quality, it will become damaged rather quickly or pill up, sadly.

Ideally, flannel should be used for pillowcases that are taken out of the closet for the cold winter months and put away during the summer.

Silk 

BEDELITE Satin Silk Pillowcase for Hair and Skin, Coral Pillow Cases Standard Size Set of 2 Pack Super Soft Pillow Case with Envelope Closure (20x26 Inches)

Who doesn’t want a silk pillowcase to rest on after a long, hard day? This material is unbelievably soft and feels amazing to the touch. However, it’s quite expensive, making it less common but still highly popular.

Silk pillowcases are made only from natural materials, which is why they feel so good on the skin. They won’t cause friction on your face and even reduce frizz! It’s also very cool, making it super comfy and perfect for the summer.

These pillowcases may cost a lot more than others, but they’ll last longer and are very elegant and luxurious, which is why you’ll find them in top-notch hotels.

Satin

ShopBedding Luxury Satin Pillowcase for Hair – Standard Satin Pillowcase with Zipper, White (Pillowcase Set of 2) – Blissford

If you can’t have silk pillowcases, then perhaps you can settle for satin pillowcases. This material is made from a type of polyester, and it mimics silk’s characteristics. It comes close to silk without the expensive price tag.

Satin pillowcases are very popular because they’re really soft and offer the same benefits as silk, though not at such a high level. These pillowcases also won’t last as long as silk or cotton pillowcases will.

Still, it is a shiny, flexible, cool, soft, and comfortable material that comes in many colors and will enhance the look and feel of your bedroom.

Linen

NTBAY 2 Pack 100% French Linen Standard Pillowcases, Breathable and Cooling Washed Yarn Dyed Pillow Cases with Envelope Closure for Hot Sleepers, 20x26 Inches, Natural Linen

Last on our list is linen, a material that is of high quality and can be compared to cotton. This material is durable as well as antibacterial, and great at regulating body temperatures. Plus, linen is very easy to clean.

This material is one of the best choices as it is also anti-static, so frizzy hair won’t be a problem. It can absorb moisture fairly well, so using it during the summer is a good idea.

Linen is one of the top choices for pillowcases, no matter what the purpose of the pillow, and it comes in many designs and colors, allowing you to find the right option for your bedroom, or wherever else you want to use your pillows.

Final Thoughts

There you have it — the different types of pillowcases you can choose from to spruce up your bedroom. You also now know the fabrics pillowcases are made of, so you can really go all out in customizing the pillows you use.